Patience and persistence reap rewards in muzzle training
A 2.5-year-old male neutered German shepherd presented to the Animal Emergency & Referral Associates behavior service for evaluation of reactivity and aggression toward other dogs at home and outside the home, and for aggression toward people at the veterinary clinic. One component of the treatment plan involved teaching the dog to wear a basket muzzle.
At each week’s visit, the behavior team members would show the clients each next step involved in teaching the dog to become familiar with and accept wearing a muzzle. Muzzle training was only one component of the dog’s treatment plan, and only a small part of each visit was needed to devote to this training. The clients were instructed to practice each step at home daily.
This video shows the dog’s progress at our veterinary hospital after six weeks of muzzle training. The owner now can easily place the muzzle, and the dog is comfortable wearing the muzzle.
Teaching this dog to accept and be comfortable wearing a basket muzzle has allowed the clients to move forward with behavior modifications and training while ensuring the safety of those in the veterinary clinic as well as the safety of other dogs he may meet on the street. Safety is always a top priority in any pet with aggression issues. A muzzle allows everyone working with the dog to feel more at ease and comfortable, which can help the dog feel more at ease and comfortable.
Suggested resources—How to teach a dog to wear a basket muzzle: